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Our response to the NAO report on sanctions

30 November 2016

This NAO study examining whether the DWP was achieving value for money from its administration of benefit sanctions, found that the DWP is not doing enough to find out how sanctions affect people on benefits.

 View National Audit Office (NAO) report

View DR UK's submission to the NAO report on Benefit Sanctions

DR UK says

“This devastating report highlights that there is no evidence that sanctions are effective in incentivising disabled people to remain in touch with the job market or move into work. Yet 13,000 disabled people are sanctioned every year. Impacts include losing vital income, disabled people – and their families - going without essentials, having to use foodbanks, depression and more.

Benefit sanctions are not only harmful but in some cases even potentially lethal - with the tragic case of David Clapson being an example.

Given the extra costs that disabled people already face in their day-to-day lives, sanctions are especially punitive.

Disability Rights UK wants a system that genuinely supports the many disabled people who want to work to keep their job when they become disabled  - and, for those out of work, to get into work, or set up their own business, with the tailored and flexible support they need to do so.

Instead people are subject to a regime that seems to be finding coercive ways to get people off benefits when their health or other critical factors clearly make this inappropriate.

From April 2017, all disabled people not in the ESA support group will effectively be sanctioned due to the cutting of the £30 week work related activity component – a reduction of nearly 30%.

Disability Rights UK will continue to argue for replacing benefits sanctions with effective support for both disabled people and employers, to make a reality of the Government’s pledge to halve the disability employment gap.“

See also:

Guardian article: It was my job to impose cruel benefit sanctions – that the DWP can’t justify

British Psychological Society signs statement opposing welfare sanctions